|This article is part of a Religious Overhaul.
We are working to refine and adjust this lore. Some parts may be inaccurate or incomplete.
The Provenance of Laira is the first volume in the Tenebra Manifest, as well as a well-known myth documenting the creation of Atheryin. While most races and cultures have different interpretations of the myth and the aftermath, this version is the most widely practiced upon, and is also the only creation myth currently accepted by the Collective. All the names for any gods/deities, etc. mentioned here are the "official" terms set by the Collective.
In the very beginning, before Time had coagulated, and before Space had been forged, there was nothing. The only inhabitants of the borderless plane of Existence were few whispering Ideas that drifted in and out of consciousness across vast expanses of the astral realms. Drifting formless, these Ideas were but a simple sound-- Until two came along, that broke the mold. Their sound was chaotic, riddled with multiple frequencies and teeming with note patterns that shattered the dull hum of the others. They proposed something radical: Physicality. These two spirits called themselves Laira and Kalopsis.
After a long series of events that are still debated by the Collective's high priests, Laira was rendered deaf, blind, and mute, Ugana began to form in her womb, and Kalopsis lynched an unknown spirit for a treacherous act.
The Emergent Spirits Appear
Andain appeared out of the darkness of Laira, standing on Cadin, the keystone of the universe. Shortly after, Lythus emerged from the light of Laira, stating herself to Andain, after which he did the same. Andain proclaimed Cadin as his home, and Lythus built her home from stone, a structure soon to become Aelan, one of Atheryin's two moons.
*This passage is debatedly canon in the Collective, see Notes for more information
Ugana & The 5 Spirits of the Grimhunt
Ugana, the soon-to-be Creation Mother, awoke inside Airos, the womb of Laira and the birthplace of the world. When she was young and ignorant, Ugana lazed under the Seris tree in the center of the realm, eating the fruits of the tree which would contribute to her spiritual growth. At the time, it was unknown to Ugana that Kalopsis wanted her dead.
Outside of Airos, Kalopsis gathered Rondag, along with the other 4 Tenatua (it is debated whether or not there are four or five other Tenatua), and contracted them to hunt down and kill Ugana, in an event later becoming known as the first Grimhunt. Kalopsis supposedly gifted the Tenatua with night-eye, the ability to see in absolute darkness, in exchange for their service.
Kalopsis pulled all the light out of Airos, and threw it into Cadin, cracking the keystone, and causing a well of unstable chaos to pour out. Ugana subsequently went blind because of the darkness. The Tenatua, once finding Ugana, chased her across the realm for 300 cycles (the meaning of this measure is debated), until the Seris stopped Ugana and hid her in its branches. The tree spoke to Ugana, gifting her a branch of the tree to fight away the spirits, as well as gifting her with the ability to escape Airos.
Ugana waited for Rondag to appear at the Seris, and when he did, she lashed the beast with the Seris' branch 6 times, casting him and all the other Tenatua into the center of Airos. Ugana then abruptly fled Airos, using the knowledge gifted to her by the Seris, and spoke with Andain while drifting in Laira, commanding him to guard the Airos until the Tenatua show faith to their "sovereign".
Kutaru & Kutsal
Ugana, after anchoring herself to Laira (in order to be safe from Kalopsis, who, like most spirits, has trouble surviving in the realm), looked out to the chaos created by the fracturing of Cadin. Longing for a balance in this chaos (which was just simply light and dark destroying each other), Ugana decided to create two beings to stabilize and manage it, under her command. The first she created from the light, was Kutsal, who Ugana marked as the "first true sovereign". The second thing she created from the darkness, was Kutaru, who she marked as the successor to Kutsal and the being made specifically to keep him in check. After the creation of the two brothers, Ugana mentioned their task of creating mortals for the first time, and the gods began to go to work.
Birth of Atheryin & Meirgan
Ugana and Kutsal, together, sing Atheryin into existence, but along with it came its twin, Meirgan. Atheryin is described at this point as an empty, cold, and formless realm. Meirgan, however, is described as a large paradise, warm and full of magic. Ugana praises their creation, and Kutaru proposes they live in the realm, and perform creation from there. Overjoyed, Ugana happily agrees, and all spirits leave the coldness of Laira to live in the paradise. Ugana, after arriving, states that Meirgan would be the place most perfect to house the Ruran, a large, metaphysical soul-storage object possessing boundless magic power. Curiously, it is never mentioned before in the Manifest.
Kutaru's Transformation & Phoenixes
Kutaru grew tired of his work, and began tampering with the darkness. The magic eventually infested his soul, and Kutaru grew insane as the magic devoured him, and began to become desperate for his own survival. He looked to steal part of Kutsal's soul, and, though guilty, he attempted to do so. Kutaru stole only part of Kutsal's soul, until the dragon roared extremely loud, so loud that it shattered Kutaru's soul into a thousand pieces, and shattered the bounds containing many independent souls as well. These souls, soon to become the Earth-gods, crashed into the formless Atheryin, forming many of the now-existing impact sites around the globe. However, thousands more were said to have escaped, and existed elsewhere. The pieces of Kutaru's shattered soul flew into the cold of Laira, coalescing into Phoenixes, and forever worshipping Kutaru. What was left of the god-phoenix's soul clung to the darkness, where he regained power in his soul from it.